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As an American, it is my duty to...?

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I ran across the following quotes in another thread, and they got me to thinking.

As an American, I feel strongly that I must support the President of the United States, even those presidents that I didn't vote for or that I disagree with.
I personally will support President Obama whether I voted for or like him. I think as an American that is my duty.
This same sentiment has been expressed by others in other threads.

Frankly, I'm puzzled. This ideal runs counter to everything I was ever taught about America and patriotism. Millions of Americans have died in wars fighting against people who blindly supported their President, no matter what he said and did. In fact, these people are so reviled that merely mentioning them by name causes fury and outrage.

It seems to me that the Founding Fathers had a wildly different idea about whether or not questioning our leadership was "patriotic." Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Samuel Adams wrote, "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule." A couple of hundred years later, Albert Einstein chimed in: "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

So, where do you stand? What is your duty as a patriotic American--unquestioning support or your nation's leaders and policies or diligently questioning them?
 

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why one or the other?
As an American, it is my duty to respect others and myself. One topic of discussion about the new president was his ability to listen and research a topic then decide. express your opinion at the right time, listen to the facts, let your opinion evolve(learn), but follow the decision when the leader leads...that's why I supported and voted for him.
Sylvia
 

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I voted for number 2, diligently question my President.

With that being said until I see how a President is going to lead the country he has my full support when he takes the oath of office. Presidents inherit problems from the previous presidency and our country is in a big mess. If the candidate I voted for lost I am not throwing stones until I have reason to. I think every elected President deserves the chance to make our country better. I always have hope for a better future for my grand kids and great great grand kids. (when I have some) I feel it is my duty to support any new President until he/she proves me wrong. As an American we all have freedom of choice and my choice is to support.

I have supported every President that has taken the oath of office since I was 21, I may not have liked them and I may not have voted for them but I supported them. Now there are some who during their presidency my opinion changed and I have written more than my share of letters to senators and congressmen. I would never disrespect the office of the President, disagree but never disrespect.

I am hopeful, excited, optimistic and somewhat fearful of our country's future but for now I choose to celebrate.

Jim, thanks for the thread to vote and post.
 

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I completely agree with Linda......though I didn't vote for this President I respectfully support him and question his decisions if I disagree, which is my right as an American.

Joanie
 
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noblesrus said:
...I respectfully support him and question his decisions if I disagree, which is my right as an American.

Joanie
I would argue that it is not just your right, but your patriotic duty.
 
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Linda: Thank you for not taking umbrage at my use of one of your quotes. :) And thank you for explaining your position more fully. Frankly, I was surprised to see those words come out of your fingertips in the other thread. They make much more sense now when given a fuller explanation and context. :)
 
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I don't believe in blindly following anyone. That just does not make sense. Look what happened to other countries throughout history when their citizens did that. I do however believe in giving support to our leaders especially when they are new in the office. If they make bad decisions, I believe they should be held accountable.

Even though Obama does not have a lot of political experience, he seems to be making some sound decisions right now. Will he continue to do so? I don't know, only time will tell. If he does make mistakes that are harmful to the country, will I be critical? You betcha.

While I was not a Clinton supporter at the beginning of his terms, I did give him a chance. During his administration, he made some good decisions and some bad ones. Even he admits that now. He is willing to publicly admit that some of the problems we are having now are in part his fault. Would public criticism have changed his policies at the time, I am not sure but it might have.

In stark contrast, I do not believe Bush, the younger, will ever admit that he made even one bad decision. He has already defended his decisions, by making excuses, about several topics. I believe he made a lot of horrible decisions which have caused lasting harm to our country. I think he should have to answer for some of those. However, I do not totally blame him for the economic position we are in, only for not recognizing that we had a problem much sooner.

If the Bush administration only taught me one thing, it would be do not keep your mouth shut if you think bad decisions are being made. I strongly regret not speaking up at the beginning of the Iraq war. I knew at the time that it was a bad decision that would cause a long, nasty situation. Do I think that my one voice would have changed anything? No, but it might have encouraged others to also speak up.

Our president is our "chosen" leader, he should have to answer to the people for the decisions he makes. This is one aspect of our government that sets us apart from most of the rest of the world. It is a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". Do you blindly follow the person who makes decisions for your family (spouse or significant other)? I don't feel that criticism diminishes the presidency, it can also serve to strengthen it.
 

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Dang Jim you and I have to stop agreeing.
I voted 2 because I feel the president isn't a king nor a god and the president works for you, me and all Americans. It is not only our right but our duty to question the president.

I grew up in Philly. So those who have lived in the area can tell you we end up being saturated by the founding father's lives, motives and views.  I am a huge fan of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, their philosophies and beliefs are what formed the USA and they DID NOT believe in blind patriotism.

What is blind patriotism? 100% agreeing with a president all the time not because you think they are doing a great job because it 'unamerican' to question a president or always wearing a flag pin not because you are proud of being an American but because its 'unamerican' to not wear one.

So now Jim we have to stop always agreeing *sigh*
 

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This question is one reason why we can't discuss politics with my inlaws. They claim that you should never question your leaders; you should just think what they tell you to think and do what they tell you to do.

The supreme irony of their argument is that both of their families left Bulgaria and Hungary when the Communists took over, because their land and property were taken away. They spent several years in a refugee camp in Italy before emigrating to the US, where both families owned businesses and prospered.

You'd think that if anyone would support free speech and the benefits of representational government, it would be them. DH and I just don't understand.
 

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LuckyRainbow said:
In stark contrast, I do not believe Bush, the younger, will ever admit that he made even one bad decision. He has already defended his decisions, by making excuses, about several topics. I believe he made a lot of horrible decisions which have caused lasting harm to our country. I think he should have to answer for some of those. However, I do not totally blame him for the economic position we are in, only for not recognizing that we had a problem much sooner.

If the Bush administration only taught me one thing, it would be do not keep your mouth shut if you think bad decisions are being made. I strongly regret not speaking up at the beginning of the Iraq war. I knew at the time that it was a bad decision that would cause a long, nasty situation. Do I think that my one voice would have changed anything? No, but it might have encouraged others to also speak up.

Our president is our "chosen" leader, he should have to answer to the people for the decisions he makes. This is one aspect of our government that sets us apart from most of the rest of the world. It is a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". Do you blindly follow the person who makes decisions for your family (spouse or significant other)? I don't feel that criticism diminishes the presidency, it can also serve to strengthen it.
Exactly! I am not partisan , heck I consider myself an Independant. I give anyone a chance but once a president does something so stupid for example; ignoring the views of the majority (85%!)of american citzens and outlaw federal funding for stem cell research because HE thinks its immoral then I WILL question a president.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Jeff said:
The flag and the president are symbols of America.
I disagree. The flag is a symbol of America. The President is just this guy, you know. One who works for me and you and everybody else. He's our employee. When one of my employees screws up, I let him know. Otherwise, he'll just screw up again.
 

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Bacardi Jim said:
I disagree. The flag is a symbol of America. The President is just this guy, you know. One who works for me and you and everybody else. He's our employee. When one of my employees screws up, I let him know. Otherwise, he'll just screw up again.
Damn it Jim..I again 100% agree. That was my main problem with Bush. He acted more like a strict father who always says "Because I say so that's why" and not as OUR employee.

History will not be kind to him.
 

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Well, having spent some time in the Soviet Union and having a good idea of what a police state truly is, I rejoice in the fact that we have the ability to post what Jim did in answer #2 without fear of going to the Gulag (or worse). Because in the Soviet Union, you had to publicly and vocally support whatever the leadership did. Or else.

But, as Obama himself pointed out, the government and its elected officials need to hold themselves accountable. And it is part of our duty as citizens to do that. But I believe it's also part of our duty to not just criticize or try to find fault, but to offer suggestions and support to the efforts of those who govern the country, whether it be at the local or national level - to "get involved..."
 
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Discussion Starter #18
kreelanwarrior said:
Well, having spent some time in the Soviet Union and having a good idea of what a police state truly is, I rejoice in the fact that we have the ability to post what Jim did in answer #2 without fear of going to the Gulag (or worse). Because in the Soviet Union, you had to publicly and vocally support whatever the leadership did. Or else.

But, as Obama himself pointed out, the government and its elected officials need to hold themselves accountable. And it is part of our duty as citizens to do that. But I believe it's also part of our duty to not just criticize or try to find fault, but to offer suggestions and support to the efforts of those who govern the country, whether it be at the local or national level - to "get involved..."
"I'm Bacardi Jim, and I approved this message." ;D
 
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